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328                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
mufti) which ordered the true believers to extirpate the
heretics. Simultaneously with the Russian operations on
the littoral of the Caspian Sea, the Turkish troops entered
Georgia, and Tiflis surrendered in A.H. 1135 (I723)-
Ganja was afterwards besieged, but without success, and
at Baku the Turks were forestalled by the Russians.
The Russo-Turkish Treaty' for the Dismemberment of
Persia, A.D. 1724.—Negotiations between Turkey and
Russia were resumed and culminated in an agreement for
the partition of the most valuable provinces of Persia.
In the north, the cession by Tahmasp to Russia of the
Caspian provinces to the confluence of the Kur with the
Araxes was confirmed by the two powers. Turkey took
up the new frontier line from this point and drew it close
to the west of Ardebil so as to include Tabriz, which,
with Hamadan and Kermanshah and all the districts
between them and the Turkish frontier, was to be
included within the Ottoman empire. It was cynically
agreed that, if Tahmasp consented to these conditions, he
should be aided to recover his throne. If, however, he
proved obdurate, the two powers were to provide for the
future tranquillity of Persia by raising to the throne which-
ever candidate was held to be most deserving.
The Conquest of Western Persia by the Turks^ A.D.
1724-1725.—After the conclusion of the treaty by which
Persia was thus partially dismembered, it remained for
the Turks to make good the possession of their share,
Russia having already occupied the western part of her
portion. The Turkish army first marched on Hamadan,
which fell after a short siege in A.H. 1136 (1724). Mean-
while a second Turkish force had advanced on Erivan,
which was justly regarded as the strongest fortress in the
country. Operations were pushed on with the utmost
determination, and in spite of the loss of twenty thousand
men in four assaults and by disease Erivan was taken in
A.H. r 137 (i724) after a three months' siege ; the garrison
marched out with the honours of war.
The victorious army was now directed against Tabriz.
A Persian force ten thousand strong was defeated outside
the city, which seemed likely to be taken without much